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Do you think Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger should grant clemency to Sara Kruzan?



In 1994, when she was 16 years old, Sara Kruzan murdered the man who'd forced her into prostitution at age 13. She was tried as an adult, convicted of first degree murder and sentenced to life in prison without parole. In an editorial from Wednesday's pages, the board argues that Kruzan has been a model prisoner and deserves the opportunity to appear before a parole board. (In the 2007 video, above, Kruzan tells her story as well as what she’d say in a parole hearing.)

The board also argues that Kruzan's case points to a larger issue:

She also serves as an important reminder of why sentencing juvenile offenders to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole is backward and counterproductive. Science and society have learned more in recent years about the still-immature and rapidly developing brains of adolescents […]
That's why the Legislature should pass a bill that was reintroduced this week by state Sen. Leland Yee (D- San Francisco) after being rejected in August. The modest legislation would allow courts to review the cases of juveniles who were sentenced to life without parole after 10 years, possibly reducing their sentences to 25 years to life. […]
People, especially teenagers, have the power to change. They can become better people.

Here’s the whole editorial.

-- Alexandra Le Tellier

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Comments () | Archives (12)

The comments to this entry are closed.

Laura

Yes, Sara should absolutely be given clemency. She was a victim of human trafficking. The man that she killed was a pimp who began abusing her at 11 years old and then selling her on the street to strangers at only 13 years old. At 16, she killed him. Now, at 31 years old, she realizes the severity of her crime, regrets her actions, but still has no chance of parole. Can the courts not see that she was a trapped, hurting child who made a bad decision based on her circumstances and not on her character? In the first 16 years of her life, her drug addicted mother failed to protect her. Her imprisoned father was absent from her childhood. A pimp brainwashed and abused her, and strangers raped her seven days a week for three straight years. She is 31 years old now and the court has the power to finally free this woman, not just from jail, but from her past...once and for all!

Francis Morris

Absolutely! Sara should be released.
And yes, the law should be amended as well.

A BiPolar Guy

absolutely, let her go - and grant a full pardon. Many would consider this justifiable homicide. Some would consider her to be a heroine for getting the courage to free herself and prevent him from doing this to another child. She was not the criminal, he was. If had been been on the jury and believed he had done this to her (which is apparently not disputed) I'd never have voted to convict because even though she did it, no way should this be murder one - so she was not guilty of that specific crime.

Naomi Bogus

NOT only should you free her... you should apologize for not doing it sooner. What are you doing Gov --- balancing the budget... NOT!

Do something GOOD so people will remember you for something GREAT.

LET her GO, LET her GO, LET her GO... LET her GO, LET HER GO! I wish I could get a Beattle to sing it! LET her GO, LET her GO, LET her GO... LET her GO, LET HER GO! LET her GO, LET her GO, LET her GO... LET her GO, LET HER GO! LET her GO, LET her GO, LET her GO... LET her GO, LET HER GO! LET her GO, LET her GO, LET her GO... LET her GO, LET HER GO! LET her GO, LET her GO, LET her GO... LET her GO, LET HER GO! LET her GO, LET her GO, LET her GO... LET her GO, LET HER GO! LET her GO, LET her GO, LET her GO... LET her GO, LET HER GO! LET her GO, LET her GO, LET her GO... LET her GO, LET HER GO! LET her GO, LET her GO, LET her GO... LET her GO, LET HER GO! LET her GO, LET her GO, LET her GO... LET her GO, LET HER GO! LET her GO, LET her GO, LET her GO... LET her GO, LET HER GO! LET her GO, LET her GO, LET her GO... LET her GO, LET HER GO! LET her GO, LET her GO, LET her GO... LET her GO, LET HER GO! LET her GO, LET her GO, LET her GO... LET her GO, LET HER GO! LET her GO, LET her GO, LET her GO... LET her GO, LET HER GO! LET her GO, LET her GO, LET her GO... LET her GO, LET HER GO! LET her GO, LET her GO, LET her GO... LET her GO, LET HER GO!

Arnold sing along!

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I dont hear you!

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Mcgibby

"She also serves as an important reminder of why sentencing juveniles offenders to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole is backwards and couterproductive."

I don't think it's always backwards and counterproductive. Some violent offenders--depending on the degree--should not be considered for parole simply because they are capable of extreme cruelty and are not capable of changing that. Regardless of age or circumstance, those who have posed a significant threat to others should be in prison.

Mcgibby

Now, having said that, under these circumstances, this young lady deserves her freedom. This is assuming that she has demonstrated the ability to move beyond the basist mentality of those she grew up around.

Mcgibby

And of course I meant baser, not basist.lol

Elesi Ameko

Dear Govenor Schwarzenegger:

I strongly believe that you should grant Sara Kruzan clemency. Sara was 13 years old when this man has forced her into prostitution. This man has molested her as a child by forcing her into prostitution. Sara did not have a normal life as a teenager. She has been abused as a child by this man that forced her into prostitution. Her parents did not protect her from this preditor. Sara was isolated from her family and she did not have any friends to help her. Sara deserve to have a second chance because the man that she murdered has robbed her of her inocense and he has put her life in danger when he has sold her into prostitution. The law have failed to protect Sara from the pimp that has abused her. The law has deprived Sara of her life twice when they convicted her at age 16. Sara killed the man out self defense. Govenor Schwarzenegger please take into consideration that Sara was only a minor when she murdered this man that sold her into prostitution.

My email address is [email protected]

Elesi Ameko

P.S. Govenor Schwarzenegger you have a daughter. Suppose that this was your daughter that got abuse and her life threaten by a pimp? Sara is somebody's sister and Sara is somebody's daughter. The law is corrupt. Because any man can abuse a child and get away with it. If the victim kill the pimp out of self defense she get punish. This is not fair. They need to change the law.
Please email me at [email protected]

Elesi Ameko

P.S. Govenor Schwarzenegger you have a daughter. Suppose that this was your daughter that got abuse and her life threaten by a pimp? Sara is somebody's sister and Sara is somebody's daughter. The law is corrupt. Because any man can abuse a child and get away with it. If the victim kill the pimp out of self defense she get punish. This is not fair. They need to change the law.
Please email me at [email protected]

ken44

No, the woman is a ticking time-bomb. If she gets out God help anyone who gets on her bad side.

catwoman

@Naomi Bogu - Absolutely LOVE your post, "Arnold, sing along..., I can't hear you." Funniest thing every!


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The Opinion L.A. blog is the work of Los Angeles Times Editorial Board membersNicholas Goldberg, Robert Greene, Carla Hall, Jon Healey, Sandra Hernandez, Karin Klein, Michael McGough, Jim Newton and Dan Turner. Columnists Patt Morrison and Doyle McManus also write for the blog, as do Letters editor Paul Thornton, copy chief Paul Whitefield and senior web producer Alexandra Le Tellier.



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